Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada's Riddle Takes Silver in Halfpipe Skiing at World Championships

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada's Riddle Takes Silver in Halfpipe Skiing at World Championships

Article excerpt

Riddle wins silver at world championships

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Mike Riddle could hardly contain himself, bouncing around, skis in hand, as he waited for his score at the freestyle world championships on Saturday.

When the result from his second run down the halfpipe was announced -- an 89.60 that put him in a good position for a podium finish -- the reigning Olympic silver medallist threw both arms up in the air and fist-pumped in celebration.

Riddle, from Sherwood Park, Alta., held on to claim the silver medal in Sierra Nevada, Spain in the final event of the freestyle season, capping an otherwise frustrating year with a solid result.

"It's been a tough season for me so I was so unbelievably excited just to be back competing," Riddle said in a phone interview with The Canadian Press. "And then getting on the podium was a whole other level of thrill.

"I'm still a little in shock from it, but I'm very, very happy."

Riddle, back on the halfpipe for the first time since reaggravating a broken shoulder blade four weeks earlier, started Saturday's final with a mediocre first run that had him in sixth place with 72.8 points.

He rebounded in his second run -- following five consecutive skiers who had crashed out on the hard, icy pipe -- and landed a series of impressive tricks highlighted by a double-cork 1200 and a switch-700. Riddle scored slightly less on his third and final run (89.40), making his second score stick for the silver medal.

American Aaron Blunck took gold with 91.80 and France's Kevin Rolland claimed bronze with 88.40.

Noah Bowman (85.80) and Brendan MacKay (82.80), both from Calgary, finished sixth and seventh, respectively, and Simon d'Artois (39.40) of Whistler, B.C., was ninth.

Riddle first broke his shoulder blade in January, causing him to miss the X Games in Aspen and a good chunk of the season. After rehabbing for a few weeks in Calgary, Riddle broke the bone again in February in Pyeongchang, still managing to finish in sixth place at an Olympic test event. …

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